Modern Believing editorial January 2019

Editorial by Karen O’Donnell
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - January 2019

The opportunity to edit a journal is a great responsibility. Not only are you responsible for gathering high quality research from your colleagues and fellow academics, putting their work through rigorous peer review processes, and presenting it to the world in an engaging and accessible way, but there is also a strong responsibility to the readership of the journal.

As I take on the role of Managing Editor for the journal Modern Believing, I feel a strong sense of both of these responsibilities as I work out how to balance high-quality liberal theological research with the wide-ranging readership of Modern Believing.

I am currently a research fellow at Durham University in CODEC which is a centre for digital theology. My own research is definitely in the constructive mode of theology—reflecting critically on what has gone before and recognising the profound changes that have taken place in society at large, as well as in theological research more specifically. It is the recognition of this change that provides the space for the construction of new theological discourses. For example, if we have never before had a digital space such as the one created by the internet, it is no wonder that our theology does not address questions that arise from engagement in digital spaces: What does it mean to be human online? Where is God in digital spaces? What does it mean to talk about God as creator when humans can create whole worlds in the digital space? Recognising change paves the way for constructive theology which is, more often than not, liberal in its scope. 

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Thinking Practice: Method, Pedagogy, Power, and the Question of a Black Queer Theology

by Amaryah Shaye Armstrong
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - Jan 2019

 Abstract

This article considers what kinds of questions are at the heart of a black queer theology, and acts as an introduction to this special issue of Modern Believing. Taking up blackness and queerness as procedures of questioning the uninterrogated assumptions of Christian theology, it considers how we might retool theology for black queer practices of thought. The questions of method, pedagogy, and power become analytics for such an inquiry, as this essay shows how postures of thought are related to postures of relation to others. Against the reproduction of Christian orthodoxy and heresy, this essay argues that a black queer theology cannot be justified in Christian terms, and that the refusal of this justification opens possibilities for a theological justice that is more adequate to the joy of black queer life and the demand of black queer death. At the same time, this article notes that theology cannot be understood as an exhaustive discourse, and that the mysteries of black queer sociality must remain an urgency that repeatedly brings the endeavour of black queer theology into question.

Keywords

blackness, queerness, theology, Christian imagination, methodology


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

 

Black Bisexual Queering of Antiviolence Christian Ethics

by Traci C. West
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - Jan 2019

Abstract

This article utilises the lens of a black bisexual queering approach to methodologically expand liberationist Christian ethics. The discussion investigates how certain queer characteristics of bisexual identity might constructively contribute to conceptualising ethical resistance to spiritual and physical violence aimed at black and brown queer people. Attention is given to the politics of how bisexuality is linked to dangerous binary frameworks and heterosexual privilege. But probing these problematic linkages can provide valuable possibilities for a methodological black bisexual queering of anti-violence Christian ethics. It can help to envision and instigate anti-racist truth-telling and church practices with potential to interrupt violence and abuse targeting the most vulnerable black and brown queer community members.

Keywords

anti-LGBTQ violence, anti-racist, bisexuality, black and brown LGBTQ persons, Christian ethics, heterosexual privilege, liberationist, queering, violence


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

 

Methodological Musings of an un-Sufi-sticated Scholar

by Zaynab Shahar
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - Jan 2019

Abstract

This article recasts comparative religions in light of queer sufi pedagogies and decolonial methods to consider the improvisatory nature of a black queer theology. By considering the resonances between the organic multi-religiousity of black queer sufi practices and what Laurel Schneider and Catherine Keller call polydoxy, this article ponders the resonances between multiple religions by decentring Christianity. Attention is given to how the alternate sensibilities and practices found in black queer sufi practices of thought ground decolonial strategies of delinking the production of knowledge from the assumed boundaries of Christian theology and secular philosophy. Instead, an embodied mode of thinking is offered as a way forward. 

Keywords

black, comparative religions, decolonial, multiplicity, multi-religious, polydoxy, queer, sufism


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.

 

Still here: The promise of complexity and lived religion

by Renée L. Hill
from Modern Believing Vol 60:1 - January 2019

Abstract

This article provides an examination of multi-faith practice as a method of resisting Christian hegemony. Turning to our multiple layers of identity and belonging, this essay considers how they become resources in cultivating power, solidarity, and liberation. In particular, consideration of Lukumi/Yoruba/Santeria traditions and spiritual practices provides a way forward for thinking a black queer theology.

Keywords

African religions, blackness, Lukumi, multiplicity, multi-faith, queerness, Santeria, Yoruba


 You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.